Monthly Archive for October, 2008

disappearing post? Tanzania Blackburn and Espresso Guatelope

Hmmm …. I posted about this weeks roasts, the Tanazania Blackburn Estate AA and the special espresso blend I did, Guatelope. But the post seems to have disappeared into the ether. The Tanzania was very juicy, lighter in body than I expected, but appropriately so. You can catch the Kenya-esque hints in there, the dark fruit, berry, black currant, slightly winey, sweet. The Guatelope was a special blend with the focus on flavor and sweetness, not body and mouthfeel. It may seem a little thin, but after 4 days we found it to be pleasantly syrupy. It is 40% El Salvador Mauritania, 40% Guatemala San Jose Ocana and 20% Kenya French Mission Bourbon. So actually it is an all-bourbon blend! We are enjoying it here immensely, pulling shots on the Andreja.

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before leaving for Sumatra, a boatload of new coffees!

We have quite a list of new arrivals this week, and since I am headed to Sumatra, I am pushing to get them all listed. From top of the list to the bottom, here they are!

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Coincidentally, Perfect Mocha-Java Blend Ingredients!

We added our new arrival of Ethiopia Kembata Grade 4 Dry-Process, a coffee from Southern Ethiopia with peach, tamarind, lemon, spices and chocolate… complex and intense, another great natural Ethiopia lot. We also have our first new crop Indonesia at the warehouse, Java Kajumas Curah Tatal. It’s your typical low-acidity, oily body Java except this coffee has sweetness and nuance I haven’t seen in Java coffees in recent years. We suspect it is partially from older Typica cultivars. Coincidentally, these two lots make an awesome Mocha-Java blend, 50% of each!

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Panama Boquete Golden Peaberry

I was roasting slightly smaller than usual batches of the so-called “Golden Peaberry” (not sure what’s golden about it, looks green to me). So I had to be careful with the heat, a bit more gentle in the first 5 minutes of warm-up, and to apply heat more gingerly at the end to avoid rushing the coffee through first crack. It’s a classic City+ roast, through first crack and then a bit more, nowhere near second crack, finish temperature of 430 f (2nd starts at 444-446 on our set-up here, as we measure it). I am enjoying the flavors in the cup, but was a little concerned about the presence of a few quakers in the finished roast. I attempted to pull some out, but they should not be there … shame on the Casa Ruiz mill! I modified the bag label to note this… but in all I am really enjoying the cup, with more body that wet-process Lerida, and interesting nut roast tones in the finish.

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something central, something south, and 2 decafs

10/17: We have 2 new lots from Central and South America and 2 new decafs today:

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Ethiopia Dale, Classic Italian Espresso, Panama Decaf

I did all the roasting and had a ball … I really like roasting on the Probat but lately I have so much cupping that it falls into Josh’s competent hands. I was really gentle with the Panama Panamaria WP Decaf, and kept it on the light side to preserve the brightness. The Classic Italian is one of our slightly darker espressos, but you also need to have a nice gentle warm-up, bring on the heat around 5-6 minutes, then back off as it approaches first crack in order to have a controlled reaction. In general, I did not have to bring up the heat to reach my target point, which was 460 at 16 minutes. The Ethiopia Dale is dry-processed and, as always, the number of under-developed “quakers” is a bit surprising. I guess when you do small batches in a home roaster or a sample roaster, you don’t see the same thing as a bigger 25 Lb batch. I pulled some of the lightest ones manually, and made a note on the label. Still, this is the natural (dry-process) coffee conundrum; there are great coffees that have a lot of under-ripes in there. What should one do? Reject them? For me, when I cup this Dale and there are 7 phenomenal cups, 2 good cups, and 1 with off taste, I will take those odds … especially knowing that the informed home roaster can pull out a couple quakers without much effort.

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Mexico Organic Nayarit Dry-Process

For this dry-process coffee we decided to go for a Full City roast: not quite to second crack and about 438 degrees by thermoprobe.  You might notice some unevenness in roasted bean color which is to be expected in a dry-process lot.  Tom, Derek, and I cupped the test roasts which represented three different levels: City, City+, and FC.  The City+ roast had some good qualities but was ultimately too “winey” while the darker roast revealed nice bittersweet chocolate notes.

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cupping in quick time


i took this movie at 1 fps in peru at the “Concurso de Cafe de Calidad” this past week. it starts in round 2 with cupping, then cleanup, setting up the new tables for round 3. I kinda like the dead space in between rounds … but actually, i had forgot my camera when the jury went off to discuss the round 2 scores, so it was an accident… at the nearest table you can see me, looking kinda scruffy, in the light shirt, and geoff watts from intelligentsia in the dark green shirt, along with maritsa and lourdes, catadores peruanas. -tom
ps: I put together this little movie of clips from the peru competition too … rock out!

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